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Après Founders from left to right: Bill, Momma Donna, Lauren, & Kyle

Après Founders from left to right: Bill, Momma Donna, Lauren, & Kyle

Our roots

Après Handcrafted Bitters is the creative project born out of flavor explorations by the Après Handcrafted Libations’ Family. Après Handcrafted Libations is a multi-faceted bar that focuses on the craft beverage movement serving up handcrafted cocktails, whiskey, and beer.  As a family owned and operated establishment we pride ourselves on emphasizing local culture and supporting other small businesses. We wanted to create a cocktail bitter that not only rocked our cocktail game but emphasized our passion for unique quality flavors.

Our design process is based on User Experience Design practices and each of our bitters are designed around flavor profiles. We use high quality, fresh ingredients to create unique and flavorful cocktail bitters perfect for a wide range of libation styles, with all ingredients either locally or ethically sourced through farmer's co-ops and local manufacturers. Our labels are easy to read, with a color ribbon to help identify the flavor quickly and efficiently when in dark lighting and behind a busy bar. Our flavors are crafted, refined and perfected with the help of our team of bartenders and customers at Après Handcrafted Libations in Breckenridge, CO and are specifically designed to impart a bitter aspect while still maintaining the originally targeted flavor! Meaning our Orange Bitters taste like you just bit into an orange, our Basil Bitters taste like fresh basil, our Coffee Pecan Bitters taste like you just drank a cup of Pablo's Danger Monkey coffee infused with Pecans... you get the picture!

If you have a passion for flavor and a desire to shock and awe with cocktailing, just reach for Après Handcrafted Bitters!

Flavor Experience Design

User experience design is defined as the process of enhancing user satisfaction with a product by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product. User experience design encompasses traditional human–computer interaction (HCI) design, and extends it by addressing all aspects of a product or service as perceived by users.

Therefore, we are defining Flavor experience design as a subset of user experience design by the process of enhancing consumer satisfaction with a product by improving the usability, pleasure, and flavor profile provided in the interaction with, and consumption of the product. Flavor experience design addresses all aspects of the product as perceived by the consumer, specifically targeting a consumers flavor preferences.

The Après family believes that a consumer focused approach leads to a better experience for both consumer and bartender. These practices keep us grounded and focused on what you want, and is visible to our core of ethics and operations. For us flavor experience design is practiced daily at our Breckenridge location, allowing us to constantly research and innovate with the best testers on the planet, all of you!


Our design process

  1. Idea Generation: We utilize your standard brainstorming methods, sometimes we start with a product base like scotch, and build a concept from there. Often we brainstorm by throwing ideas out when we are bartending and get the consumers involved in the moment. It's crazy what people will come up with on the spot and equally amazing what results come from these types of activities.
  2. Research Target Recipe: After we brainstorm and generate the next ideas, such as our current research (Tiki targeted recipes!), we get our hands dirty and conduct some research. Can we source the ingredients for the generated idea appropriately? Does this exist already, and if so what was done before? Is this idea too far fetched to be savored? (rarely ever!) Can we replicate it, or will this be a one off project? What bittering agents, herbs, or other ingredients can accomplish our goals? Answering these questions before beginning allow us to narrow down and our ideas and target the ones that will be enjoyed by you the most!
  3. Define Persona(s): During this stage of the design process we develop and define the target flavor profile, it's target character, and it's targeted use. We give it life in this stage, a personality, a job, a new bitter is born... theoretically! With the persona comes a completed recipe concept, it's now down to testing and refinement.
  4. Build, & Extract: Our recipes go through multiple phases of completion, beginning with testing and refinement. We produce incredibly small batches (32 oz or less at a time!) and refine the recipe until we are satisfied we hit the perfect flavor for our persona. This is when the bitter hits it's teenage years. From here we scale the recipe (to a whopping 2 gallons)and go through the same testing and refining process until the new batch matches the smaller batch. Finally, we have a finished recipe and can sit back and enjoy some delicious libations.

Flavor profiles

Flavor profiles and their definitions vary incredibly depending on if you are talking about vegetables, herbs, wine, beer, or cocktails. When defining a flavor profile there are various tools that one can use. We utilize a combination of a Beer Flavor Wheel, Wine Flavor Wheel, and Coffee Flavor Wheel to help us define the flavor profiles for our bitters and our cocktials

Beer Flavor Wheel (original source unknown)

Beer Flavor Wheel (original source unknown)

Wine Flavor Wheel (original source unknown)

Wine Flavor Wheel (original source unknown)

Coffee Flavor Wheel (original source unknown)

Coffee Flavor Wheel (original source unknown)